Hey. Do you know what's wrong with the Republican Party? "Social Fundamentalists," better known as social conservatives or the religious right.
So said Christine Whitman and Robert Bostock in their 2004 book entitled "It's My Party Too: The Battle for the Heart of the GOP and the Future of America."
Well, they're baa-ack to say "I told you so" in this article. My guess is the WaPo was more than happy to print it.
The problem is, they're wrong. And wrong-headed. It's not only a mis-directed ad hominem argument against the Republican Religious Right, but against traditionally conservative 'Reagan Democrats' who felt no comfort in the middle of the road, and swerved left.
You see, the strategy that Whitman and Bostock espouse - fake left, embrace the fringe, and get their vote - was embodied in life-long 'maverick' John McCain. It didn't work. But 52-48 is not by a landslide, as a giddy Whitman and Bostock incorrectly state.
Plus, contrary to Whitman and Bostock's conclusion, Sarah Palin's synergy energy didn't hamper McCain, it helped.Polls show it, tremendously. But voters don't vote for VPs. They do vote for strong candidates with clear vision, and regardless your political philosophy, Obama was obviously that candidate.
So, it’s not an ‘either/or’ proposition: either expand the base or stick with the social fundamentalists. It’s not even a ‘both’ argument.
It’s a get back to basic political philosophy argument, and that includes the social fundamentalists, the fiscal conservatives, and the strong nat'l defense crowd. A three fold cord.
This notion that religion cannot be used to formulate a political viewpoint is nonsense. It's what motivated the architects of this constitution; it’s what emancipated the slaves; it’s what enfranchised women; it’s what spurred the liberation of occupied Europe; and it’s where the outrage at abortion and Obama’s infanticide comes from. Righteous indignation can be useful as long as there is a righteousness to be drawn upon.
Obama didn’t win because the Republican base wasn’t big enough to include all the fringe he collected. The republicans lost because they backed a low watt, inconsistent candidate with a message barely distinguishable
from the democrats which Obama vanquished in the primaries.
As I said, people are drawn to strength & vision. It’s what made Ronald Reagan such an iconic success (much to the chagrin of the libs).
They were drawn to Obama for the same reason.
Reagan pulled the electorate right. Obama pulled them left. The center is the moth to whomever holds the brightest flame.
It’s not the republicans base which needs to change, but the Republican Party, to embrace and champion its core beliefs.
If we be it, they will come.
Update: Nearly two-thirds of the those Republicans polled by Gallup agree with moi.